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The Mother Fucker Ball

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Sun. Feb. 20

Last week, Justine D. and Michael T. tried to convince me that their wildly popular, long-running Mother Fucker Ball is actually a labor of love.

"It has to be love," Justine explains. "We don't make any money off the night."

Coming up on five years, this infamous rock 'n' roll odyssey continues to be the biggest party for freaks and geeks and all fans of debauchery. If you want to get in, says Johnny T. one of the party's founding producers, you must "have a look." He expands, sort of: "We practice reverse discrimination at our party."

The kids in khakis are left out in the cold, while the costumed dancers stroll right in. For once, bottles and bulges of cash don't mean shit.

Michael T. can most easily be described as an amalgamation of Ziggy Stardust and Dr. Frank-N Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. On the day we met, half of his pompadour was streaked blue, and his cheeks were lightly blushed. He revels in live performance, which he says is missing in rock. The latest bands, who flicker in their 15

seconds of fame, don't seem to have much of a stage presence. That's why he's put Fischerspooner's cheeky electropop joint "Emerge" back into rotation. He also loves throwing on Cindy Lauper's "She-Bop."

Where Michael T. is the crowd-pleaser of the pair, Justine wants to break new tracks and educate the next generation of club-goers. "Some of these young kids don't even own a Bowie record," she says. This benevolent indignation allows the duo to take credit for the resurgence of rock as dance music. The Mother Fucker crew were, after all, the first to book the Rapture and expose indie hipsters to the slinky funk of the Bronx's ESG, whose reissue of tracks on Soul Jazz caused a stir in 2000.

"When we first approached promoters [about] doing rock music in the main room, they looked at us like we were crazy," says Michael T. "At the time, the only thing people were playing was electronic and techno. But we had this idea of playing song-based music."

This week, Bloc Party invades the ruckus.

Roxy, 515 W. 18th St. (betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), 212-645-5156; 10, $20/$15 w/flyer.

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